Not the only ones to suffer

If it is any consolation to Alnwick’s small businesses, councils throughout the country seem to find small-town parking fair game for filling their leaking coffers at the expense of the visitor, consumer and small business alike in these economically hard times.

They seem to be oblivious to the bigger picture concentrating on short-term gain at the expense of long-term decline of our town centres.

Funny how the MetroCentre bucks this trend very successfully? When I lived in Alnwick in the 1960s and 1970s there used to be a rather forbidding elderly gent in a long, dark trench coat and hat who used to organise the cars on the cobbles so they parked neatly and safely.

He collected a parking fee and he was always around to keep an eye on the cars come rain or shine, standing in a doorway when it was raining or inclement.

He did a splendid job for many years until it was realised that no one actually employed him.

Once exposed, this enterprising chap was given his marching orders.

A sad day for free enterprise and a sign of things to come?

David Hopper,

Vet on the Corner,

Dog Kennel Lane,

Horncastle, Lincolnshire